Young Yucatecan invents Maya-speaking robot that detects Covid-19

Govrnor Mauricio Vila visits a young man who invented a Maya-speaking robot that detects Covid-19 in Acanceh, Yucatán.

Acanceh, Yucatán, (May 29, 2021) .- William Ortiz Noh, a mechatronics engineering student at the Metropolitan Technological University, invented a robot using basic software and from old cell phones that takes temperature, serves antibacterial gel, says words in Maya, and tells jokes and Yucatecan Bombas (A Bomba is a saying, usually rhymed, of a festive and mischievous character used in Yucatan).

And the robot demonstrated his skills by taking Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal’s temperature, which was 36.5 degrees Celsius, just by putting his hand in front of him and immediately serving him some antibacterial gel.

“And are you proud?” Vila Dosal asked María Ortiz Noh, the mother of this young inventor.

“Of course! My boy used to destroy his toys all the time to see how they worked” – replied the lady.

The Governor visited this young man at his home in the town of Tepich Carrillo, municipality of Acanceh, to encourage him in his struggle to achieve his dreams and to show how the State Government can support creative, hard-working people to stay in college and open a small robotics business at the same time.

The robot, which he named Nortiz Robotics, works with basic software featuring audio programming, temperature measurement software, and an antibacterial gel dispatcher, which was assembled with old cell phones, but has been so successful these days that many media outlets have already published this young man’s work.

“I need a laptop, I am building a more advanced robot with three-dimensional cameras and screens,” said William to the Governor while he told him that, in Yucatan, thanks to the local universities such as the Polytechnic and the UTM (Metropolitan Technological University), there are students who can work in robotic factories, but these types of companies do not exist in Yucatán.

The young man raised the possibility of starting a company that manufactures these robots so that local establishments can take their temperature and put antibacterial gel on customers.

The robot, who wore a blue shirt, was built in eight months and according to what he stated, it cost him 16 thousand pesos to produce it.

He is studying the eighth semester at the UTM in the Santa Rosa neighborhood, in Mérida, Yucatán, and he narrated that before the pandemic, he traveled daily by bus to school in the evening shift, which, by the way, sometimes he had to drop out in the last classes so as not to miss the bus back to his community.

Vila Dosal offered to support him with a laptop computer so that he can continue with his dreams, as well as advice so that he continues to build his robots and in the future, he can start a company of his own in Yucatán.

William is 22 years old and said that when the pandemic began in Yucatán there was not as much technological development for health prevention measures as in other countries, so when no one was encouraged, he decided to build the robot.

He explained that he decided to work alone and managed, after several months, to obtain results that for him is a great advance. “It can be incorporated to say things, like words in Maya, so that the language does not get lost in the Yucatan,” he said.

—I would like it to be in every shopping center, in every establishment, I have one, but I have the capacity to manufacture more. It’s with fiberglass and electronics materials – he pointed out.

Regarding the Governor’s visit, he said that it seemed to him to be something very important. “I did imagine that my robot was going to do well, that he was going to go far, but I did not imagine that the Governor himself would come to my house to see him,” he said.

The young man said that he will finish his studies, which have been put on hold by the pandemic since he was not going to find work in the robotics area. “My goal was to go to another country, but with Covid-19 you have to take advantage of the opportunities that arise where you live,” he said.

“I would like to form a company, that’s why I’m going to finish my studies so I can employ other fellow Yucatecans ,” said young William, who lives with his mother and an uncle named Ambrosio.

The Yucatan Times
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